You are what you read – the best SEO articles from the past week (8-14 June)

I get asked quite often how I manage to keep up with what’s going on in the SEO/online marketing world. There’s no secret to it really – I subscribe to about 70 SEO-specific blogs/sites and about 100 tech-related ones on Feedly, and surf through those feeds about 4-5 times a day. While I’m running through them, I either read interesting-looking articles there and then or use the ‘Save For Later’ button to erm… save it for later. I also use Pocket to save any good guides that I think I might need in the future (which is much better and easier than cluttering up my browser bookmarks bar).

On that subject, there was interesting news from Facebook this week – who announced a ‘secret’ press conference for next week. It didn’t take long for the secret to get out though, as John Constine reported on Techcrunch – Facebook are building a news reader: http://techcrunch.com/2013/06/14/facebook-reader/. I wonder if Google are regretting killing Reader yet!?

Also on the topic of Facebook, there was a great piece in Wired last week which detailed the scale of the coding project that goes on behind the scenes at the social giant, where some impressive rewriting of the rules goes on seemingly on a day to day basis: http://www.wired.com/wiredenterprise/2013/06/facebook-hhvm-saga/

A blueprint for ranking success!
Probably the biggest news in SEO circles this week was Danny Sullivan’s updating of Search Engine Land’s Periodic Table Of SEO Ranking Factors – now changed to ‘Success Factors’. Check it out here: http://searchengineland.com/now-updated-the-periodic-table-of-seo-success-factors-162513

The inexorable rise of Bing
Things are getting serious now with Bing. Staying with Search Engine Land, they were amongst many to report on Apple making Bing the default search engine for their voice activated personal assistant system Siri: http://searchengineland.com/apple-makes-bing-the-default-search-engine-for-siri-162736 – which should amount to a hefty rise in search market share. Something they are already steadily gaining: http://searchengineland.com/market-share-bing-continues-small-gains-yahoo-stabilized-google-flat-162915

Long live SEO!
Dr. Pete over at the newly-branded Moz.com had a good take on the whole ‘SEO is dead’ issue this week, the general gist being that with the sheer amount of information now available to us, we will always need search to help filter it – so there will always be some form of ‘SEO’: http://moz.com/blog/seo-tactics-die-but-seo-never-will

New stuff from Google
The reason I religiously check my feeds all the time is because Google is changing, and announcing, new stuff all the time. For my clients’ sakes I need to not only know about this stuff, but understand it and be able to apply it to their campaigns asap. This week Barry Schwartz put together a nice little piece on Google testing in-depth article snippets in the SERPs: http://www.seroundtable.com/google-in-depth-snippets-16905.html (something which I mentioned they should start doing in my last post!) Google also announced that ‘To improve the search experience for smartphone users and address their pain points, we plan to roll out several ranking changes in the near future that address sites that are misconfigured for smartphone users.’ You can find all their recommendations regarding mobile best practice here: http://googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.com/2013/06/changes-in-rankings-of-smartphone_11.html

Matt Cutts also found the time to reveal that Google will start naming some examples of spammy links in the penalty emails they send to webmasters. Here’s the full news on it at Search Engine Journal: http://www.searchenginejournal.com/matt-cutts-google-webmaster-penalty-emails-to-include-examples-of-bad-links/64610/

Structured data or ignored data – the choice is yours!
Everything the major search engines are doing at the moment regards applying better understanding to the masses of data online. Google Now and the Knowledge Graph are the best examples of this push towards ‘semantic search’. Bearing that in mind, it’s paramount that webmasters / search marketers use Schema.org to mark-up and sign-post all relevant data – otherwise they risk getting left behind. Andrew Isidoro wrote a great piece on Schema and why it is important on Econsultancy this week, which I recommend everyone read: http://econsultancy.com/uk/blog/62899-why-you-need-to-schema-now-not-later

Helpful guide of the week
Jason Acidre put together a great guide on off-page SEO this week on Kaiser The Sage – which is extremely useful if you’re looking for ways to move beyond link building to build the authority of your site. This is definitely one to bookmark for future reference: http://kaiserthesage.com/off-page-seo/

And finally…
Google (often quite rightly) comes in for it’s fair share of criticism when it comes to privacy concerns and general corporate money-grabbing, but you still can’t deny their adventurous and entrepreneurial spirit does a lot of good as well. This week they announced their ‘Project Loon’ initiative, which aims to provide internet access to some of the poorest regions in the world via a crazy system involving balloons. Naturally, Google are not a completely benevolent organisation and Project Loon will have an aim to make money and provide some good PR, but still, you have to applaud the fact they constantly try new things like this…

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